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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Life



It has always been one of the weirdest concepts of all, for me to grasp. It is the very reason for anything to matter. Without it, everything would be nothing, to the extent that it might as well not exist at all. It's like asking the age old question "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Well, duh.

But as a concept it is interesting. The soundwaves will still be there, so it will obviously make a sound. But it won't matter (ignore The Butterfly Effect for now). If no one is around to hear it, it wouldn't make a difference whether the fall of the tree resulted in a noise or not.

It's the same way with the universe. If there is no one around to observe it, it loses all its meaning. It's just there. In principle, I guess that my statement is slightly false. The fact that no one is there to take part of it, doesn't mean that it isn't there. There is one thing that a universe without any life could do that would still matter. For all we know, it could still produce life.

In a way, a universe without any life could thus still bring meaning to itself by giving birth to the very definition of meaning itself; life.
I think you get my point.

To add to that, our perception of the world is very limited. There are a multitude of things that humans can not see, as this video might demonstrate quite well. Those things are still there though, and they affect us very much. We usually can't see radiation. but it's definitely there. Same goes for a lot of other things.

But even all that would be meaningless without life. Those things might still be there whether we were alive or not, but even if we can't see them, we can be aware of them. They affect us as well, which gives them meaning. They do something, and we can notice that something. Isn't that what meaning is all about? It's about something happening, and someone/something noticing it, and possibly even doing something about it!

Life is a struggle for sure. The very meaning of life might be itself; to live. In order to continue living, life reproduces and creates new life. This circle keeps on going, but there's something missing. It's often said that one of the things that makes life so special, is that it doesn't last forever. There's the opposite of life, which is death. The relationship between life and death is one of the most common themes in different art forms (paintings, movies, literature, music, etc.). I guess that the idea has fascinated our species for a long time. I actually have a friend who happens to have drawn a painting around the theme (you can check it out here).

Death is perceived as dark and negative by most, as it takes life. I guess is makes sense to see death as dark. Just as darkness is actually lack of light, death is lack of life. That said, there are those who are longing for death, awaiting it with open arms. Life is very fragile; very easy to just... Take away. It's an interesting curve. You start out the most fragile, after which you grow stronger. When enough time has passed, you begin getting weaker again, until you ultimately wither into nothingness.

The funny thing is that even at your strongest point, you could lose your life in the blink of an eye. It's SO easy to throw away for nothing. Still, I'm quite astonished by the fact that so many people get to live for so long. Our bodily defensive systems that protect us from diseases and other injuries are most impressive. Still, accidents do happen. Sometimes we take risks, and often they are far too big, and not worth it. Humans are pretty much programmed to take big risks for big rewards, instead of small ones for small rewards (which ironically, is the most rewarding in the end, in most situations). We humans tend to think that we're never going to be "that guy". Which guy? The one that dies from doing something stupid. We sometimes take big risks in order to have some fun. Maybe we jump from a rock to another over some water, ignoring the fact that we could slip and break our necks. Because we're not going to be that guy or that girl right?

Well, if you're reading this, it seems that you've been right thus far, but will you always be? 
Life is very fragile, which is why you should be careful with it.

This is coming from a guy who has done a lot of crazy shit, which could easlily have killed me. This was especially true when I was younger. I guess I kind of had this stupid braveness. I wonder if I'm not alone on this? I get the feeling that many people used to do stupid, dangerous things when they were younger. Maybe it's just part of a learning curve. Of course, I still jump from rocks. Maybe the difference is just that I nowadays am aware of the potential consequences, but that I choose to ignore them? I'd like to think that I'm more careful than I used to be, but maybe that is just an illusion. You need to do something to get a thrill right? People like being in flow. What is life if you don't live it? On an individual level, life might be meaningless if you're always careful and never do anything new, but as a species, we strive for survival. It's not good to always be scared of everything either. This also keeps you from learning, and new discoveries can be crucial for the development of our species. Life is contradictive this way. You want to stay alive, but you also want to learn something. I guess that some risks are simply worth taking. Marie Curie and a few other people had their lives shortened by a lot, because they discovered and studied radiation. Was it worth it? Maybe, maybe not. For them specifically, it is a personal feeling, but what about our race?

On one hand, the discovery has given science a great boost forward. On the other, there have been a lot of disasters related to radiation. Was it worth it for the people that have died? I think that life has to be separated into induvidual cases, and as a whole. Personally, I'm pretty convinced that some lunatic will simply blow this earth to samll pieces one day, maybe not so far away in the future. While our life can bring a lot of good things, it can bring a lot of bad too. What makes human lives so special is the intelligence we have (although I wish some people would have more and use it better...). This is also what makes us so dangerous. We can learn and develop faster than anything, and we may bring forth flourishment or destruction alike.

I'm fairly convinced that humans are more and more becoming a disease to our planet. I'm still glad that we exist though. As I said in the very beginning, the world would be utterly meaningless if no one was there to observe it. That someone is US; you and me. We posess the intelligence needed to understand and comprehend a fair deal of our surroundings, which is perhaps the most important thing of all. Awareness.

We can make of that what we want, bacause that is what we have been given; our life.

Which is exactly why I am writing a post such as this right now. I have very recently walked up another imporant step in the stairs that are my life. 

We spend our entire lives learning, but in our culture, we are specifically meant to learn in our early life, in daycare and after that, school. The thing is, I graduated a couple of days ago. Until now, most things have been set out for me. Technically, I could choose whether I wanted to study at the Gymnasium or not, but for me, it was never much of a choice, but more of a certainty.

Now, I have completed my studies there. I'm not fully satisfied with how I performed in my Matriculation Exams (which I mostly blame on the people that graded the exams, bacause trust me, they seem to suck. Pretty much all my tests were returned to me with lower scores and ultimate grades than they were sent in. This wouldn't be a problem normally, but I don't really feel like explaining the entire system of grading they have. It's mostly unfair though, and should, in my opinion [as well as many other's] change in the future. Just trust me; the test graders are no good). I've decided to leave my grades be as they are though.

That tangent aside, I have reached a new point in my life. I need to choose where I want to go. I have many hobbies, and I'd love to work with examplewise music. Shame is, it can be difficult to get a good job which involves what you love. You also don't want to turn that which you like into something you see through a negative lens; see as work... I have decided to keep music as a hobby for now, as I don't really like the alternatives that exist in my country, when it comes to music. I will try to be accepted into a university, and study pedagogy. If the wind doesn't blow the way I want to, I can always try something else next year. Life might be fragile, but it's not necessarily short, depending on your perception of it.

In about a months time from now, I'll be drafted into the army, which is NOT a choice, so I still have some time to contemplate upon my life, and where I want it to go. I have been trying to get in shape, in time for the drafting, but progress is slow. Oh well...

I have been procrastinating a lot lately too. I have too many projects going on :(
Thinking about all the things I don't have time to do makes me feel a bit... Grimm D:


That said, I've done a few things. I'll soon start making a simple new game for the Construct 2 Game Jam over at Newgrounds.

I actually made and finished the game I spoke about in my last post, and you can play it by clicking the picture.




















I have also made some music.

I made one of the shortest relaxing loops ever: Unimaailma

Along with a short slightly circus-styled song: Vappu


Those are only some of the things I've made, and I'm working on several other music related projects as well. Hopefully, I'll succeed in making them. One of them is actually a collaboration with an amazingly talented musician.






That is all I have for now I think.



Life is weird, but let's hope it goes on in the right direction.


Have a good life ;)